Overwhelming Stupidity

Overwhelming Stupidity

I was blown off by a high school principal for a Monday morning meeting. It was work related and had nothing to do with my kids. She requested the meeting. It was based on her calendar availability, but she was too busy (forgetful?) to show up.

 

My wife had a very empathetic and meaningful conversation with a friend about the anxiety of trying to maintain a busy family with a busy work schedule. Then her friend proceeded to drink wine enthusiastically, not making the connection between alcohol and the nervous system.

 

Major League Baseball instituted some drastic new rules this year to speed up the games. Now many ball clubs, including our Colorado Rockies, are cutting off beer sales in the eighth inning instead of the traditional last call in the seventh because their revenue from alcohol sales is down. Wait a minute. Wasn’t the three-inning pause designed to give people time to sober up before driving home? Now the innings are faster, and people get fewer of them to dry out?

 

There is a curse that goes along with the blessings of sobriety. I can’t unsee the stupidity all around me. I used to be able to drink the ridiculous away. In fact, I used to contribute mightily to the lunacy. So when you keep drinking to fit in and be one of the crowd – when you decide your drinking is not a problem because everyone else is drinking like you – there is one massive problem with that justification.

 

Everyone is pretty dumb.

 

OK, that is an arrogant, elitist, dramatic generalization. But it’s not that far off if you really think about it.

 

I heard on one of the Sunday morning news and politics shows that when voting to raise the debt ceiling above its current $31 trillion limit, this is no time to argue about spending and the deficit. What? Isn’t this exactly the time? How do you increase debt without at least conversing about what is causing the debt? Do politicians even understand how a budget works? My freshman in college has two envelopes. In one, he keeps his spending money. In the other, he keeps his saving money. He turned 19 this week, and he is already disqualified from government office by his grasp on economics. (As an aside: I rounded the debt ceiling number so the sentence would flow better. The actual number is $31.4 trillion. I rounded off 400 billion dollars of debt. Let that sink in before you continue reading.)

 

Conspiracy theorists crack me up. Do they actually think the same people who clumsily destroyed our food system and did untold damage to school-aged children with the disaster that was remote learning can figure out how to inject tiny computer chips in our arms through COVID vaccines? Have you seen the leaders we keep reelecting? They couldn’t find an intelligent idea with Google Maps and a magnifying glass.

 

The point is, doing what we are told and following the crowd is far more dangerous than I ever imagined as I dulled my senses with the toxic product of a multi-billion-dollar industry. And not because we are being subjected to a nefarious master plan, but rather, because we are all stumbling blindly toward a bottomless abyss of unplanned mediocrity. Now that I see clearly the stupidity that abounds, I can’t imagine taking my lifestyle and life-decision cues from people around me. And nowhere is this more true than when it comes to consuming beverages.

 

While on a bike ride with my youngest son on Sunday afternoon, we passed a restaurant with their huge sidewalk-facing windows open to bring in the warm spring air. We rode almost within arms reach of a table of four with four glistening pints of amber ale that called to me as we glided by. For just a brief, split second, the beer looked good to me. My permanently ingrained object-identifying brain cells reached for the handle bars before my logic and reasoning center regained control and reminded me that those people were unknowingly drinking poison.

 

The pervasiveness of alcohol  is not a government conspiracy to prevent us from intellectualizing and to keep us starring in Cops episodes. As a society, we started ingesting alcohol in mass quantities (of alcohol and people) before we knew how dangerous it was. Now we know, and we compartmentalize – refusing to really know because then what would we do with our knowledge about what Cab to pair with a medium-rare filet?

 

I know this is getting quite rant-y. And if you are at the crossroads of addiction and sobriety, you might be wondering how some grumpy dude wading into politics is supposed to help you make the right best choice today (and maybe tomorrow). Here’s how:

 

Sobriety isn’t about abstaining from something. Sobriety is about freedom from brainwashing and a deadly herd mentality. Alcohol is an objectively harmful toxin that kills millions and otherwise destroys billions. That’s not exaggeration. That’s not the frustrated resentment of a guy who had his precious IPAs taken away because he’s not man enough to know when enough is enough. Those are facts that are being dismissed, through cognitive dissonance and ignorance, by the vast majority of the industrialized western world. Wow.

 

If alcohol had just been discovered yesterday, could you imagine trying to get it through FDA approval? Let me understand this correctly…you left some fruit out to rot, and it morphed into a slurry that inhibits brain function, creates wild mood swings and results in loss of motor function, and you want to package and distribute it to within walking distance of every adult on the planet? You wouldn’t get anyone to read beyond the abstract of your proposal.

 

And yet, back here in reality world, we feel shame, envy and FOMO when we can’t drink poison while everyone else can. It’s truly one of the most baffling tales of incongruence in the history of human existence. And you thought Adam and Eve feeling compelled to cover their private parts after eating the forbidden fruit was a shame.

 

Alcohol is bad. Yes –  DUIs, family dysfunction, liver damage, financial collapse, job loss, yada, yada, yada. But that’s not the worst of it. The fact that people like me consider it to be a painstaking sacrifice to rip it reluctantly from ruining our lives is the true tragedy here.

 

Don’t ask yourself if you are or are not an alcoholic. The mental gymnastics that result from that question will keep you drinking and shame-filled for years. Ask yourself this one, even simpler question.

 

Where has following all the other inconsiderate idiots on this planet gotten you? If you want to change something, change that.

 

Maybe the first part of that change should be checking out our program for high-functioning drinkers seeking something different called SHOUT Sobriety.

SHOUT Sobriety

 

P.S. If you are wondering what the story about being blown off by the principal has to do with all of this, it is an example of the inconsideration we all must tolerate. I’ve never met her, and I have no idea if she drinks. I was just pissed about it when I sat down to write, so out it came.

I could only wait so long…
October 20, 2020
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December 1, 2021
Alcoholism is a Sign of Greatness
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4 Comments
  • Reply
    Anne K Scott
    May 10, 2023 at 8:20 am

    Love that – Sobriety is about freedom …. keep up the writing Matt. Your message is important.

    • Reply
      Matt Salis
      May 10, 2023 at 8:26 am

      Thank you, Anne! I feel bad when the message is angry and frustrated like this one, but it is authentic. Thanks for your support!

  • Reply
    Kyle
    May 10, 2023 at 8:47 am

    Matt,
    I loved this article, it was like I was speaking too, and I could more than feel it in your writing (Don’t get me started on what remote learning here in CA did to my now third grader). It’s almost like there is proof that money controls the world sometimes, spend more, make more and the government pushes this at any cost…but I digress. It’s like a new world view for me walking around sober, and the fact that I sometimes have an urge almost makes me hyper focused on its problem, because I have to do battle with it in my head. I’m amazed how much ‘freedom’ alcohol has in this country.
    keep writing, I’ll keep resonating!

    • Reply
      Matt Salis
      May 10, 2023 at 11:13 am

      Sobriety does give us a new world view. I like how you put that, Kyle!

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